DATA

THE PROS:

The Adidas Group shares a list of primary factory names and addresses, subcontractor factory names and addresses, and licensee factory names and addresses.

Since 2012 the brand has been rolling out a new management-worker communication project to some of its suppliers in Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. The project allows workers to send SMS text messages to hotlines to raise the alarm if they think their rights are being compromised.

The Adidas brand has used innovative technology and techniques in its manufacturing processes to reduce its environmental impact. These technologies include DryDye technology, a process called “NoDye” and a low-waste initiative.

THE CONS:

In April 2014, the New York Times reported that 118 workers passed out at the Shen Zhou and Daqian Textile factories in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, factories used by Adidas to manufacture its products.

In May 2015, the Business of Fashion reported that Adidas was eyeing the “fast fashion” model as a way of pepping up its three-striped ranges of tops, leggings and sneakers. The article states that as part of a strategy launched in March, Adidas wants half of its products to be produced using the fast fashion model by 2020, as it seeks to lift its operating margin above 10 percent.

Adidas sources some of its cotton from the Better Cotton Initiative, however we don’t have any other information about where the rest of the materials the brand uses in its products are sourced from.

/ The Adidas Group owns Adidas, Reebok, Adidas Golf, TaylorMade, Adams Golf, Ashworth, Rockport, Reebok-CCM Hockey and Five Ten.

/ The brand reports that more than 1 million workers produced goods for the Adidas Group in 2014.

/ At the end of 2014, the brand worked with 1,133 independent factories (excluding own factories and factories of its licensees), which manufacture Adidas Group products in 61 countries.

/ In 2014, the Adidas Group reported net sales of €14.534 billion.

/ As of December 31, 2014, the Adidas Group operated 2,913 stores. Of the total number of stores 1,616 were Adidas.

/ In 2014, the Adidas, Adidas Golf and Reebok brands produced 309 million units of apparel, 258 million pairs of shoes and 99 million units of hardware (balls, bags, etc.).

/ In May 2015, the Business of Fashion reported that Adidas was eyeing the “fast fashion” model as a way of pepping up its three-striped ranges of tops, leggings and sneakers. The article states that as part of a strategy launched in March, Adidas wants half of its products to be produced using the fast fashion model by 2020, as it seeks to lift its operating margin above 10 percent.

/ The Adidas Group shares a list of primary factory names and addresses.

/ The Adidas Group shares a list of its subcontractor factory names and addresses.

/ The Adidas Group shares a list of licensee factory names and addresses.

/ In its 2014 sustainability report the brand communicates how many of its supplier factories are located in each region and country, how many audits and training sessions were conducted from 2012-2014, the number of training sessions by region and type from 2012-2014, the number of audits by region and type from 2012-2014, the number of audits in licensee factories by region and type.

/ The brand does not share audit reports and corrective action plans publicly.

/ The brand shares a summary of third party complaints received in 2014 and how Adidas handled these complaints.

/ In 2012, the brand piloted a new management-worker communication project with one of its suppliers in Indonesia: workers can now send SMS text messages to hotlines to raise the alarm if they think their rights are being compromised. Workers’ mobile numbers are anonymously gathered so factory management can send out group texts reminding workers of safety issues or letting them know about changes in policy. In 2013, the SMS for workers project was extended to four other factories in Indonesia and one in Vietnam. In 2015, the Adidas Group reported that it planned to roll out its SMS hotline service to 20 supplier factories in Cambodia, four more supplier factories in Indonesia and a further eight in Vietnam.

/ The brand states that it believes it is the duty of governments to set minimum wages at a level that reflects the welfare and development needs of society and in accordance with human rights norms and ILO conventions. The Adidas Group reports that it has engaged with governments that it says have failed in their duty to uphold this basic expectation.

/ The Adidas Group has developed a program to support fair wages and wage progression when workers achieve proficiency, performance and competencies in their jobs. The brand has deployed wage assessment tools and guidance to two dozen suppliers to progressively pay fair wages. In the next years, the Adidas Group reports that it will align with the Fair Labor Association’s activities to promote supply chain fair wages. More information on the program is available here.

/ In June 2014, the Guardian praised Adidas’ response to a factory worker strike at one of its suppliers in Dongguan, China. It started when an employee checked their wage slip and noticed the company had been underpaying its social security contributions.The article reports that Adidas worked with NGO groups and lobbied governments on behalf of the workers and those worker representatives that had been arrested during the strike.

/ In April 2014, the Guardian reported that an article in The Independent claimed that workers’ rights in nine factories which had been subcontracted to produce Adidas Olympic kit, were abused and forced to work long hours.

/ In April 2014, the New York Times reported that 118 workers passed out at the Shen Zhou and Daqian Textile factories in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, factories used by Adidas to manufacture its products.

/ The Adidas brand utilized DryDye technology in the manufacturing of its products in 2012, with a limited collection of 50,000 t-shirts. Dry Dye is a polyester fabric dyeing process that uses no water, 50% fewer chemicals and 50% less energy than the traditional fabric dyeing process. Since 2012, the product offer integrating DryDye fabric has steadily increased, reaching 4 million yards of DryDye fabric produced by the end of 2014, and saving 100 million liters of water.

/ The Adidas Group uses the term “NoDye” to refer to materials used in their natural color state, skipping the dyeing process. The brand first introduced NoDye products to the market in 2014 with items in Adidas Outdoor, Originals, Running and Training and continues to expand its NoDye product offering.

/ The Adidas low-waste initiative produces footwear and sports apparel with fewer parts, recycled materials and maximum pattern efficiency, aiming to reduce material waste.

/ Adidas is a founding member of the Better Cotton Initiative. In 2014, the brand sourced more than 30% of all its cotton as Better Cotton. Adidas aims to source 40% Better Cotton by 2015. By 2018 Adidas has committed to source 100% of cotton in its products as sustainable cotton.

/ Adidas is increasing the use of recycled polyester in its products. In 2014 the brand used approximately 11 million yards of recycled polyester which is equivalent to 7 million Adidas t-shirts.

/ In 2011, the Adidas Group committed to zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in its supply chain by 2020. The brand was one of the founding members of the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals Group and has been following the initiative’s roadmap to achieve this target.

/ In 2011, Greenpeace released a report entitled Dirty Laundry that found Adidas had used one of two Chinese factories responsible for the presence of heavy metals and hormone disrupting substances in the Yangtze and Pearl River Deltas.

/ In 2015, the Adidas Group hosted The Human Rights Impacts of Major Sporting Events – the Role of Sponsors, an event that promoted stakeholder dialogue. The London Stakeholder Dialogue focused on exploring the role of corporate sponsors in major sporting events with respect to upholding human rights and addressing the challenge of moving from principles to practice. The dialogue identified both immediate short-term actions, as well as long term opportunities, for sponsors to engage with sporting bodies and other stakeholders over the human rights impacts of mega sporting events.

/ The brand is piloting in-store product take-back programs with the goal to bring this approach to markets where established recycling collection facilities do not exist.

/ The Adidas Group aims to become a zero emissions company.

/ The brand is partnering up with bluesign® and intends to implement their chemical data management system, the bluefinder. With this, the Adidas Group’s suppliers select best-in-class chemicals through bluesign® bluefinder.

/ In 2015, the Adidas Group reported that it planned to roll out its SMS hotline service to 20 supplier factories in Cambodia, four more supplier factories in Indonesia and a further eight in Vietnam.

/ The brand is currently reviewing goals and targets for the next planning and execution cycle (2016-2020).

/ For the past 15 years, the Adidas Group reports that it has sponsored education programs in Sialkot to improve access to schooling for children from the rural locations where home-stitching was once prevalent. Since 2002, Adidas has funded the local NGO Sudhaar to provide education, school infrastructure and sports programs in the area’s rural communities. The brand reports that the Adidas Group support has benefited some 28,000 children enrolled in 138 schools in the Sialkot District

/ In Brazil the brand supports the “Ginga Social” initiative. This sports-based program uses coaching to teach values and life skills to young people aged between 7 and 17.

/ The brand reports that the Adidas Fund drives positive social change by supporting organisations that connect children through programs and coaches that use sport to teach, amongst other things, self-confidence, respect and teamwork that can break down barriers and allow people to live healthier, happier lives.

/ During the last five years, the brand reports that in partnership with Wings of Help they have transported relief goods to a home for blind and deaf children in Romania, a refugee camp for Ethiopian people in Israel, a home for blind and deaf children in Russia and a home for AIDS infected children in South Africa. In collaboration with Wings of Help the brand has also responded to natural disasters including the earthquake in Peru, Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, Cyclones Ike, Hanna, Gustav and Fay in Haiti and flooding in Pakistan.

/ In May 2015, the Huffington Post reported that Adidas announced a new initiative to help high schools change “potentially harmful” Native American mascots. The brand will allow schools to volunteer for the program and will provide financial assistance for mascot and nickname changes “to ensure the transition is not cost prohibitive,” it said in a release. Schools that want help changing mascots can email Adidas to enroll in the program.

/ In 2014, the Adidas Group CEO, Herbert Hainer made €4,679,313 in overall compensation.

/ The Adidas Group is a publicly traded company.

/ In June 2012, Ecouterre reported that Adidas had withdrawn plans to release a sneaker with an shackle-like ankle cuff after critics said it evoked images of slavery.

/ In February 2014, the Huffington Post reported that Adidas pulled two t-shirts from circulation after they were deemed too raunchy, months ahead of the World Cup in Brazil after the government complained that they associated the country with sexual tourism.

/ The Adidas brand utilized DryDye technology in the manufacturing of its products in 2012 with a limited collection of 50,000 t-shirts. Dry Dye is a polyester fabric dyeing process that uses no water, 50% fewer chemicals and 50% less energy than the traditional fabric dyeing process. with a limited collection of 50,000 t-shirts. Since then, the product offer integrating DryDye fabric has steadily increased, reaching four million yards of DryDye fabric produced by the end of 2014, and saving 100 million litres of water.

/ In September 2015, Adidas announced Sport Infinity, their plan for a new breed of sporting goods that will never be thrown away. Instead, football creators will be able to constantly reimagine and recycle their products using an inexhaustible 3-D super-material. The brand states that every gram of sportswear will be broken down to be re-moulded again in a waste-free, adhesive-free process.

/ Adidas commissioned the first life cycle assessment of recycled polyester. The brand is currently looking at alternative sources of recycled polyester and continuing to explore how it can use the material across more of its product categories.

/ The brand is piloting in-store product take-back programs with the goal to bring this approach to markets where established recycling collection facilities do not exist. In 2014, Adidas America, Adidas Originals Iberia and Reebok all piloted seasonal product take-back campaigns in partnership with not-for-profit organizations.

/ The Adidas Group was a founding member of Parley for the Oceans and has a seat in the steering committee. The brand has been a member since 2015. In 2015, Ecouterre reported that through this collaboration Adidas created a prototype and the world’s first shoe upper made entirely from reclaimed ocean plastic and illegal deep-sea gillnets. In April 2015, Reuters reported that Adidas said it would work with Parley to develop fibers made from recycled ocean waste for use in its clothing, and potentially shoe uppers, from next year.

VOICES

GreenpeaceGREENPEACE | DETOX CATWALK

“Adidas’ rapid progress on transparency is particularly encouraging and needs to be maintained to ensure that supply chain facilities beyond China begin full public disclosure of their data on hazardous chemical discharges. If it keeps up its winning streak, adidas will only further secure its place on the podium as a Detox leader.” – 06/2014


LaborBehindTheLabelLABOUR BEHIND THE LABEL | TAILORED WAGES

It is disappointing that a company as large as Adidas has yet to commit to a living-wage strategy, and continues to monitor across its suppliers only that factories pay a minimum wage. Although Adidas says it is “examining the question of fair wages” through membership of the Fair Wage Network, this does not commit it to real action to increase wages on the ground in supplier factories. Gathering data and learning more about the problem is not what is needed now.”

Unfortunately, Adidas’s management seem to be heading in the opposite direction: Adidas CEO Herbert Hainer said in a recent article that because the minimum wage had increased so significantly in China, the company plans to grow production elsewhere. This kind of international corporate bullying sends signals to Asian governments that if wages go up; buyers will flee, and drives the race to the bottom on wages in the industry. Adidas needs a change of tack if its commitment to ‘fair wage’ practice is going to become more than CSR rhetoric.” – 03/2014


TriplePundit

ANDREW BERGER | TRIPLE PUNDIT

Fundamentally, enhancing the overall sustainability of a business enterprise is about corporate culture — about instilling a set of social and environmental values and attitudes that fosters and encourages awareness, innovation and responsibility among employees, suppliers, customers, and in the communities where a company represents itself. Adidas recognizes this.” – 05/06/2014

HERBERT HAINER, CEO 

We face constantly new, industry-wide challenges due to changes in society, key sourcing and sales markets or new technologies and manufacturing trends. But we tackle these challenges and try to improve. And while we will always acknowledge appropriate criticism, we value positive external recognition for our work. 

Sustainability Progress Report 2014